Fear and Gloaming in Mitcham

photo by Dubmill - click photo for flickr page

I’ve articulated my fear of running on Mitcham Common on a number of occasions (try here and here). You’d think I’d know better than to attempt a twilight run with zombie accompaniment but it seems not.

Spring is a crap time for accountants and I feel like I’ve been strapped to a ledger for the past 14 days. I haven’t run or exercised for 7 days solid so I was keen to get out and bounce around the common despite the disappearing sun and the heavy clouds.

I was deep into the common when the first Zombie attack was announced. The mangled pilot, killed in the crash that landed us in Abel township some days ago was “re-animating”. Nice.
Fresh zombies are fast runners apparently and this one was chasing me.

That common carries enough horror without the addition of the undead. I’m not sure if my heart can cope with the excitement.

A Zombies, Run! Bore

20120402-085728.jpgI’m afraid I have become a tragic Zombies, Run! bore. When I enthusiastically recount tales of my successful zombie evasion runs there are audible yawns from the direction of Lynn.

We were in the park with friends yesterday, enjoying the unexpected good weather and an array of delightful picnic snacks. I took the opportunity, between frisbee sessions to take on new missions as I completed laps of Brockwell Park.

I’d run back to the picnic crew, full of breathless excitement just to be told to pipe down a bit as I was embarrassing.

I’ll try not to make every post from here on in about Zombies but yesterday’s was particularly good. I saved a young child from a Zombie attack and brought her back to the safety of the township.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my review of the Zombies, Run! app and then I will try and contain my excitement.

Oh, and did I mention I’d got the t-shirt?

Zombies, Run! The iPhone app

20120329-130933.jpgI’m Runner 5 and I’ve just been dropped into a zombie filled wasteland. It’s 11pm and I am, to put it politely, shitting myself.

I’m the sort of girl who curls into a ball at the mere suggestion of being chased. I may even scream a little.

So, I was a little surprised that I had been tempted to part with £5.49 in order to try out the latest GPS running app – Zombie, Run! Which seems to be a cross between Runkeeper and Resident Evil.

I was on a hill and to be honest I was quite tempted to walk, but the voice over had just kicked in to inform me that zombies had been spotted. It turned out to be the previous Runner 5. Unlike me she was a pretty good runner, only she’d been got by the undead and now she was trying to get me.

Steep hills are not the best place to try and outrun professional running zombies, not unless you turn round and sprint downhill. I will turn round next time. As it is she got me, just yards from the summit, there was a flurry of fast beeping and heavy deathly breathing. I dropped half the items I’d collected enroute, presumably as a distraction and then just continued running until the next chase kicked in.

Given that you don’t have to do anything on screen during a mission, the game play is remarkably engaging. You select a mission, slide to run and then you do just run and listen. The story unfolds and the commentary seems to fit perfectly between gaps in your playlist.

As you run along you hear that you’ve picked up items. My first was a snazzy pair of Y-fronts. You don’t actually have to bend and pick them up, and neither do you have to “run to the tower” or “head east out of the forest”. This is make believe, no need for screaming like a girl when the Zombies swarm but you do need to pick up the pace if you want to escape them.

The first mission lasted about 30 mins and I managed to make it to a place of safety with a few items left intact. Back home I was able to “play” with the app, dragging my items onto areas of the compound – increasing their rating as I did. Not really sure what the point of that is at the moment, I believe it opens up new missions but all that will unfold as I play it a bit more.

It’s an expensive app but it’s pretty accomplished and looks to have an active development crew. The accelerometer mode is already available to try out which means Zombie, Run! will work on a treadmill without the need for GPS engagement.

20120329-131023.jpgThe app keeps a record of your missions so you can review your typical running stats as well as reviewing the number of times the Zombies got you! You can’t as yet review the GPS route, so there is no mapping functionality and I don’t think they’ve built in any social interaction so you can link up with other terrified runners or upload the GPS data to web logs.

This review by Doug is the best I’ve found so far.

iTunes link to : Zombies, Run! – Six to Start